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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stetsons, Spring and Wedding Rings by Judith Stacy, Jillian Hart and Stacey Kayne

Stetsons, Spring and Wedding Rings by Judith Stacy, Jillian Hart and Stacey Kayne
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Genre: Western Historical
Length: Full (281 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Rocky Mountain Courtship by Jillian Hart

Joseph Brooks suspects his mother of bringing a pretty young lady to town—as a mail-order bride. But Clara Woodrow is not that lady! Enchanted by her and determined to have no other, Joseph must use the magical last few days of spring to make Clara admit the desire they share for one another….

Courting Miss Perfect by Judith Stacy

Fleeing a humiliating incident in Virginia, the last thing Brynn O'Keefe needs is an interfering Pinkerton detective suspecting her of some ridiculous crime! Concerned for her reputation, Brynn is horrified when handsome Travis Hollister tells the locals she is his sweetheart—and even more astonished when she begins to like the very idea of it!

Courted by the Cowboy by Stacey Kayne

Constance Pauley becomes enamored with the man who once saved her life—then finds out the very same dashing Kyle Darby had inadvertently caused her injuries all those years ago! Now she can't forgive the way he has stolen her heart, and how easily she wants to become his bride….

This tantalizing trio of Western romances takes the reader to a time in the late nineteenth century—a time when a gentler element of society had begun to establish itself in Texas and Montana. The lawless element was still around but not as forceful as it had been in times past.

In Jillian Hart’s “Rocky Mountain Courtship” Joseph Brooks goes from shivering in the snow to wonderful warmth as he settles Clara Woodruw in his lap on his stallion Don Quixote and heads to his families ranch thinking this is the woman his mother plans for him to marry.

Clara senses Joseph’s ability to protect, defend, and provide as she gets to know him. She feels treasured—a brand new experience for her. Even though she had not come, looking for love, a kernel of hope starts to come to life deep inside but she soon learns Joseph’s mother has other plans for him.

Jillian Hart’s characters are warm, often humorous, and ever so eager for life. Her writing style flows with a musical quality at times as the reader rides the up and downs of emotions reveled as Joseph and Clara try to bridge the gape between a prosperous rancher’s son and a maid who arrived in patched clothes with less than ten dollars in her pocket. Jillian Hart gives the reader a strong hero and a strong heroine making “Rocky Mountain Courtship” a marvelous story.

“Courting Miss Perfect” by Judith Stacy is a delightful trip to Texas with a socially disgraced Brynn O’Keefe. Traveling alone for the first time, due to Aunt Sadie’s illness, Brynn finds herself having to deal with elements of society in Texas that she has no experience with—especially one Mr. Travis Hollister, a Pinkerton detective. He suspects her of being in cahoots with Hiram Smith, a traveling salesman that Travis thinks is a jewel thief.

The humor in this delightful comedy of errors makes “Courting Miss Perfect” a beguiling love story of a “dyed-in-the-wool” bachelor lawman and a “try-to-be” proper back-east young lady with a strong personality. As she wiggles her way out of some sticky spots, often with the help of the ladies in Harmony, Texas, she wiggles her way into the heart of Travis.

This one is an absolute delight to read.

“Courted By The Cowboy” by Stacey Kayne takes place in Montana Territory where violence still pops up in places. U. S. Marshal Kyle Darby, while ridding the country of outlaws, makes a hasty decision that causing Constance Pauley to be badly burned. Full of guilt and concern, he travels with and cares for her all the way to California, leaving her in the care of his doctor cousin that knows how to treat her burns. He pays for her care in secret believing he will never see her again.

Two years later his sister Stella shows up with the new teacher for the new school in Pine Ridge. Kyle sees the young woman he’s thought about every day since he rescued her from a burning house where she’d been tied to a bed by an outlaw.

A test of wills between two determined characters makes prime reading as Kyle and Constance strike sparks off each other. Once an Orphan Train child, Constance tells Kyle “I’ve spent a lifetime seeing my reflection through the pity in everyone’s eyes” then blasted him good for what he has done. Yet, in her heart, he is still “my cowboy” with a velvety voice, tender touch, indigo eyes, and gentle smile of her memory.

Kyle feels lots of things but pity is not one of them and knows what he’d done was not an act of charity--he was trying to right a wrong. Now, this prim and proper teacher with dark curls, honey-colored eyes, and a flaming temper has him mesmerized with her strength, courage, and concern for others.

The characters in “Courted By The Cowboy” are full of a zest for life as they build a community while building lives for themselves. With the best of intentions, they all meddle in Kyle’s and Constance’s lives as the plot in the story takes some surprising twists and turns.

This one touches the heart—good reading.